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Monday, May 30, 2016

Defenders: Apocalypse

What if? X-Men Age of Apocalypse #1 brought solo adventurers and the surviving members of other super teams into a new version of the Defenders. When leading these heroes into battle against the forces of Apocalypse, Captain America (Steve Rogers) cried out, "Defenders Assemble!"—borrowing from the historic catch phrase for the Avengers.

Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm), a secondary character throughout most of his career, replaced Dr. Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme of this alternate reality. In retrospect, it's surprising that the mystical hero had never joined forces with the Defenders until this point.

The most ironic addition to the apocalyptic Defenders was Sauron (Karl Lykos), a long-time foe of the X-Men. A mutant with the power to transform into a vampiric pterosaur, Sauron deliberately lifted the name of an evil wizard from J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings.

The Defenders in this story also included Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Colossus, Thing, Wolverine, and the otherwise villainous Molecule Man.

What If? X-Men Age of Apocalypse. No. 1. February 2007. Rick Remender (writer), Dave Wilkins (artist), Anthony Washington (colorist), Nate Piekos (letterer), Marko Djurdjevic (cover artist), Brad Johansen (production), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher).
The above image of Sauron comes from X-Men #60 (September 1969).

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